Tuesday, January 16, 2007
New Beginning 190
“You’re uttering nonsense,” Tyler grumbled, parking the SUV. Since morning, Garrett only spoke riddles.
“I used to live back there a little ways, in that trailer park yonder. I stored my little brother and the rest of my inheritance here when I runaway frums mah bastard Father,” Garrett answered.
His flippancy disturbed Tyler.
“I never knew you had a younger brother,” Tyler said. He opened the door so he could back the SUV to the front of a storage unit. Sweat formed on his body; it was 110 degrees in the Escalante.
“You never asked,” said Garrett, slipping into an I-ain’t-sayin’-nuthin’ attitude, pushing a key into the lock and shaking it from the hasp. He tugged at the roller door and it slid up, revealing boxes and the tin statues of a boy and a dog.
“You owe me the truth. I’ve known you six years and yet today, I find out that I barely know anything about your past,” Tyler said, folding his arms over his chest, tapping his foot on the gravel.
“Hey, Tyler, what gets wetter the more it dries?”
“Stop your babbling and tell me what’s in those boxes.”
“Ain’t nothing in the boxes. Nothing important, anyway. Just some cash, debentures, and convertible bonds. Nah, this here’s what matters. This here’s my brother, Rumpus. That there’s his dog.”
But Tyler had stopped listening. He was ripping open the nearest box and gaping at the mass of moldy hundred dollar bills that slid out. Garrett watched a puddle of water spread across the floor as he closed and locked the door.
“You shouldn’t ought to store this stuff in the damp," Tyler said. "Can’t spend it till it’s dry.”
“What can you hold without touching it?” Garrett shouted through the door. The water should be up to Tyler's knees by now. "Your breath!"
A moment of silence, then banging sounded through the door.
“Hey, I got a good one for you, Tyler.” Garrett flipped an electrical switch outside the door. “What kind of city ain’t got no people?”
Tyler didn’t answer.
Opening: Dave Fragments.....Continuation: Tia Nia
Posted by Evil Editor at 10:09 AM
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That continuation was brilliant, tiania. I couldn't think of what to write on this one.
Author, I liked the voice you have here. There isn't a hook yet, so I'd have to read on to know if I'd read on. (Sounds silly, written like that.) I'd pay attention to the dialect, as it draws attention to itself here and there (frums mah). Bastard father bothered me. That's telling us what tyler already knows. Just say "when I run away." (BTW, do a word check and grammar check. You have father incorrectly capitalized and run away is 2 words. etc.)
I would have read on, as I said. But something interesting needs to occur eventually!
“You never asked,” said Garrett, slipping into an I-ain’t-sayin’-nuthin’ attitude
"The redundancy in this type of thing drives me batty. Show or tell, not both," the commenter said, slipping into a critical, pointing-out-things-that-annoy-her attitude.
I was expecting the decomposed remains of Garrett's brother in the storage unit. Shows you how I think.
I found the dialogue in the beginning a little off. E.g., who says, "You're uttering nonsense"? Who can pronounce "inheritance" but not "from"?
I agree with the above comments, plus the Tyler character bothered me. If Garrett only this morning started speaking in riddles, wouldn't Tyler be concerned something was wrong with him? Or, if he's been speaking in riddles for the six years they've known each other, why does it bother him now? Tyler thinks they're close enough that he's "owed" the truth, but how do you get that close without learning anything in six years?
I'm interested in this beginning, and I'd definitely read more. I want to find out what's in that shed.
That being said, the eye dialect grates on me. I think it can be used sparingly, when it genuinely illustrates an accent, but this doesn't do that. I mean, who doesn't pronounce "from" "frum?" It seems like you're trying to tell us the character is uneducated, but you're not actually making his accent distinct.
I think I'd use word choice for that purpose instead of eye dialect, but that's just my preference.
Good luck with this!
For once I agree with an Anonymous. You don't need to tell us what you just told us.
Was this a NaNoWriMo at some point? "pushing a key into the lock and shaking it from the hasp. He tugged at the roller door and it slid up" is 22 words just to say "he opened the door."
Also, are they a couple? I can't see a straight guy standing with his arms folded over his chest, tapping his foot, and demanding "the truth" about his buddy's past.
I also don't get why he's opening the door to back up, but I guess people do all kinds of things with vehicles.
I wouldn't have read this far if it weren't a New Beginning.
I liked my continuation better because it made light of the in-and-out artificial dialect and accent (a glaring weakness of the opening). Sorry Dave. I know by now that Evil likes less-evil continuations though...
Thanks for all the comments.
Blogger is exceeding awful today. It prevented me from reading comments for two hours.
Be assured that I take all comments seriously and I do act on them.
Be that as it may (like who cares, I do, I guess)… My Brother “reviewed” this on Christmas Day. I turned on "track changes" and let him comment. He actually made it worse. He can tell but he can’t show. And he made a big fuss that Tyler and Garrett are lovers. A dozen comments appeared much later in the story to make them business partners. That's a hat tip to Hawkowl for finding a hint in the first few sentences.
And one other thing about gay men. They lie a lot to each other. Even the ones living together for 40 years still lie to each other. Silly, ain’t it? Making up a fake past? How does twenty-five and just out of the Navy sound for a biography? If the picture is out of focus, it’s a good line for maybe twenty years. But enough of that particular rant.
A second note to Hawkowl is that I was taught to back up a pickup truck, station wagon or van by opening the door and leaning out to see any object behind me when backing up to a garage. I guess that it wrong (now that I think of it) but hell, I learned to drive in 1966. The man was an idiot and I was 16. I’ll fix the text.
I'm junking the accent. Garrett’s not meant to be stupid and the accent isn't doing what I wanted it to do. I wanted to use it as his attempts at humor to deflect Tyler’s anger over the lies. It’s not working and I can get the same effect with better words. Thanks to all of you for those comments. (thanks Jane, thanks Writtenwyrd)
I have noticed another problem I have. The Escalante is a national park out there in the southwestern desert. That's why it's 110 and dry. One of the big SUV's is called Escalade. I think I confused the readers. So much for placing it in the dry desert to avoid rot and rust. I might place it in Monument Valley or the Valley of Fire in Nevada.
Another stupid thing is that Garrett told Tyler both parents died in a car crash. His entire past is a lie and now he has to own up to all the lies with absolutely no truth. As subsequent conversation reveals that, I think it prudent to move that to the top of the story. Blogless is so right – how did he last years without learning the truth? Simple, it was all lies. That’s why Tyler is so devastated and angry.
WOWIE – a too many words moment: slippin-into-his-I-ain’t-sayin-nothin-mode!
Foisted on my own petard.
I’ll take out the redundancy.
I'll have you know that I have been reviewing this story and I cut 1000 useless words out of it in two days. It dropped from 3800 to 2800 words. Not that some of my mistakes didn't survive. They did and you guys are good for me.
As for someone saying “my bastard father,” I’ve actually heard that from several young men whose father beat and abused them, threw them out of the house, or other rather awful things. In fact, I’ve heard much worse. A drunk and abusive father who uses his fists to take out his shortcomings on a kid is devastating. This comes back to the complete lies problem that I seem to have written myself into (like a corner with paint).
And Theo, the tin sculpture IS his little brother. It seems that his little brother sent him away from the drunken father and hid from the father as a tin man. (It’s Sci-Fi with a bit of magic thrown in).
I liked the continuation BTW – I kept saying to myself – where’d they get the water? Where’d they get the water? They’re in the middle of the desert and the only water is from a spigot. Who puts a spigot in a storage unit? A firehose? A urinal? But I still liked the continuation - good job of it.
I kept saying to myself – where’d they get the water?
Hey, there's nothing about a desert in the opening. This could easily be like in the movie The Cell, where the "storage unit"/death trap is by itself in the middle of nowhere.
Opening the door when backing up is common when something in the back seat or cargo area is blocking the rear window, rendering the inside mirror useless.
You're right about the desert and you're right about the car mirror.
Ah, I get it. Because it's easier than judging depth in the mirror. (Right?)
It depends on the vehicle. You drive a truck and use side mirrors to see backward. I once drove a wheelchair equipped van with raised roof anf lift and a 100 gallon gas tank. It was not only big but the back was completely blind. Cars could hide back there. I hated it. I don't drive up close to trucks on the highway. Great way to die.
I was taught to leave one hand on the steering wheel and almost turn backward to see where I was backing up. Now that was in a car with no headrests and a bench seat.
I can't drive like that anymore. I can't turn around at all. So I have to use a rearview and side mirrors. I really wonder if a shoulder belt will let you bend out that far anymore. I won't try it.
Before remote-controlled side mirrors, you had to open a door to see curbs, with an electric mirror, you can just sit there and change the mirror.
Ah. It's a generation-gap miscommunication thing. :) LOL
"You're uttering nonsense!"
Priceless. I've used that phrase seven times today!
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